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Norris promises to spread Tube PPP risk


LONDON MAYORAL candidate Steven Norris this week claimed he would tear up contracts with private consortia to upgrade and maintain London's Underground and negotiate new ones which reapportioned risk.

Norris told NCE that the current proposals for a public private partnership of London's Underground would put too much risk on the private sector and massively drive up the price of its insurance premiums.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, he added, would be forced to renegotiate the contracts because they would fail to show value for money when compared to the public sector alternative.

'This is a clumsy PPP which fails to understand the need to place risk in the most appropriate place,' he said.

'There are likely to be some very expensive bids, and I fear the contracts will fail the public sector comparator test.'

Norris reiterated his guarded support for PPP 'under the right terms', but dismissed proposals by independent candidate Ken Livingstone and Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer to issue bonds backed by revenue from congestion charges, to invest in the Tube.

He said: 'Bonds on the back of higher fares or congestion charges would just be another form of public taxation.'

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